Tag is exactly DUQstories
2021This assignment has been hard to complete because I don't feel like I have many stories to tell. While I did spend the Summer working a sleep-away camp, I have spent most of the last two years inside avoiding activities that could lead to exposure. After re-writing stories way too many times, I decided to write about the present. Two years into the pandemic, I am facing the same uncertainty. In 2020, I knew nothing about what was going to happen. Now, it almost seems worse. We continue to return to how things were before covid-19, but I am not sure it is possible. In 2020, I figured we would spend six months to a year, and then it would be like ebola. Yet, here I am in 2022, worrying about new variants, when I can get my next booster shot, and whether I will be working this Summer. While I wish we could return to the way life was before, I think about the fact that this pandemic probably won't end anytime soon. We will constantly be getting booster shots and quarantine for the unforeseeable future. There are so many things that I want to do before I graduate college, like studying abroad, going to concerts, visiting my friends' colleges but, these aren't safe or practical decisions to be made. While I have to acknowledge that my anxiety about covid may be speaking more than the science and facts, it's hard to ignore that our actions have more consequences than we could have ever imagined. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives forever. We could either start to make some changes or let it get worse. As a camp counselor, my campers often asked me why we had to wear masks if we had to test negative to come. I often said because we have to or because the state mandates it, but in reality, we wore masks for the safety of all campers and staff. We wore masks as a precaution rather than create a potentially dangerous environment. We did it because we cared. Even though I feel like I have a lack of stories and I am still uncertain about everything Covid, I still take the necessary precautions because I care.
2021-09When reflecting back on my own experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of things that come to mind: how my freshmen year of college was completely upended, how I did not feel safe to return to my part-tine job, and especially how nerve-wracking it was to watch world leaders navigate through a crisis we had yet to see in our lifetime. Acknowledging these difficulties that I personally faced, along with the challenges people across the world faced, is crucial because, unfortunately, fear is apart of this story that history will tell; however, I have always found myself someone who tries to remain rather optimistic, which I find myself doing as I share my story. Though I hesitate to call the COVID-19 pandemic a ‘blessing in disguise,’ it did open my eyes and help me to become much more grateful for one huge aspect of my life: my family. I have been very privileged to have a close and loving family my entire life, though it took me a while to realize what a privilege this was. Sitting down each night to dinner and having a lively conversation with my mom, dad, and younger brother was the norm to me, so I rarely considered the notion that that wasn’t the same for everybody else. When the pandemic first struck and shut down life as we knew it, I – a 19-year-old college student – suddenly found myself back at home living every single day with my family. This was a very jarring shift for me after experiencing the freedom that college granted me, but I quicky began to see how lucky I was to have a loving and accepting family to get through this difficult time with. Of course, this is not to say I never got frustrated with constantly being around my family, but it made me appreciate all the good moments that we had together. Together, we formed a stronger bond as a family that helped us to get through the physical and mental toll the pandemic had brought. From trying new meals together, watching new shows/movies together, to creating wacky videos to share with our friends and family, and so much more, I began to appreciate all the little moments we had together. As things somewhat begin to return to a state of ‘normalcy,’ I continue to reflect on this time I spent with my family, and I cannot help but feel a huge sense of gratitude. I truly have learned to appreciate everything they have done for me (and continue to do), as well as learned to appreciate many more facets of my life. Nowadays, I find myself much more cognizant of the seemingly simple things and not taking them for granted. It is strange to think that something such as a global pandemic can be the thing that really cements an idea or feeling in our minds, but that is what COVID-19 did for me and my appreciation for my wonderful family.
2021-02-15The start of the semester was like that of any other except last semester I managed to secure an internship for the summer of 2020. Nursing school was already a difficult major to be in and I really didn’t think that it could get more difficult than that of junior year. I truly didn’t know what was to come. I will never forget being at clinical and hearing everyone mention the start of the virus. COVID-19 was on the backburner when it came to the most interesting topics of January 2020, but it would soon prove to be the most prominent in the upcoming months. I distinctly remember shadowing a nurse in the ICU one day and hearing the nurses discuss what was going to happen. “It doesn’t seem like it is coming here but trust me it is and when it does, we will need all the healthcare workers we can get.” This was a statement from one of the nurses that I will never forget hearing. At the time I didn’t fully believe the things that I were being rumored and didn’t think that we would ever be where we are today. As February and March arrived, COVID came to be part of everyone’s lives. Turning on the news, checking your timelines, and most day to day conversation held the topic of corona virus. Before we knew it, our lives changed completely. Our clinicals and classes were held remotely, you couldn’t leave your house without a mask, and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to attend our internships. One thing that worried a lot of us was working while the virus cases began to spike. I knew that I would continue working as I was if not more than usual. Over the course of my internship I watched as COVID began to impact all the healthcare workers I was surrounded by. Safety precautions in the hospital setting were changing and at first, a lot of people were afraid to come in for their illnesses for fear of encountering a positive COVID patient. As time went on people became less and less afraid to come seek help at hospitals. With a large influx of patients coming in I could see nurses, aides, and doctors among others all begin to take the toll of the virus. This wasn’t necessarily due to exposure but more so that our exhaustion kicked in. Health care providers were and still are working countless hours to help in high census situations. The most frustrating aspect of quarantine has been watching people be noncompliant with mask requirements and stay at home orders. I wake up for work everyday and risk the wellbeing of everyone in my home including myself to help take care of those who need it. As the media has portrayed us as frontline workers, it felt slightly misleading while some of the public wasn’t contributing to lessen the blow of the ongoing problem. I started my internship to gain experience for my career. I didn’t know that I would grow accustomed to death and grief as fast as I have in the past year. COVID has shown me what it means to work hard and what struggles I can encounter in my career before I have even graduated and hold my diploma in hand. I currently work on the same unit I held my internship on as it has been converted into a COVID care unit. I go into work and experience exposure situations day by day but wouldn’t change my career for anything. The corona virus has taught me so much about what it means to be a nurse and take on healthcare as a career. In a few months as I graduate I will be prepared to take on whatever challenges it may have.